Tuesday, December 12, 2023

Manuka Honey stung by trade mark failure

The Intellectual Property Office of New Zealand (IPONZ) has today published its decision on the trade mark rights for Manuka Honey.

The decision refuses the application to register ‘Manuka Honey’ as a certification mark. It refuses the application on several grounds, including that ‘Manuka Honey’ is descriptive of the goods of the application and is therefore not registrable under the Trade Marks Act 2002.

In 2015, an application was made to IPONZ seeking registration for ‘Manuka Honey’ as a certification trade mark in Aotearoa New Zealand for honey produced in New Zealand.

The mark was formally accepted on 3 April 2018 in the name of the Manuka Honey Appellation Society (MHAS).

The Australian Manuka Honey Association Limited (AMHA) opposed the application.

A copy of the decision can be found at:

Honey Appellation Society Incorporated v Australian Manuka Honey Association Limited [2023] — New Zealand Legal Information Institute

Both parties have 10 working days to appeal the decision to the High Court.

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